The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) announced that it is assisting Bahir Dar City in the fight against COVID-19 by addressing the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) gap. On January 11, 2021, Takeshi Matsuyama, Senior Representative of JICA Ethiopia Office, handed over supplies worth 1.4 million birr to Derese Asmare from the Bahir Oar Water Supply and Sewerage Service (BOWSS).
As the third largest city in Ethiopia, Bahir Dar continues to expand rapidly and the demand for water has increased concurrently. However, there is a lag in the improvement of water sources and water supply facilities, which is now exacerbated due to the novel corona virus. JICA has been working with the Government of Ethiopia to facilitate water development, expand existing reservoirs and construct water transmission pipelines in the area.
With the onset of COVID-19, JICA is providing additional support by donating water supply spare parts, such as surface water pumps, various valves and pipes that are needed to strengthen the supply chain in order
to supply safe drinking water to communities. Additionally, multiple water storage tankers (with the capacity of storing 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 liters) are also being donated to aid in the construction of new handwashing stations for critical areas, including marketplaces and transportations hubs. Basic hygiene materials such as facemasks, soaps, handheld thermometers and sanitizers are also included in the donation.